Nathan Edwards Jun 25, 2008

LG GGW-H10NI Super Multi Blue

At A Glance

Mr. Blue Sky

Reads HD DVD and Blu-ray, writes Blu-ray faster than most other drives.

Blue Monday

Expensive. Can't write HD DVD media.

Before you get too excited about LG’s combo optical drive, bear in mind that while the GGW-H10NI Super Multi Blue can read both Blu-ray and HD DVD discs, it can write to only the former format. Still, this drive offers a degree of flexibility that no other next-gen drive we’ve tested has. You won’t be shut out of watching movies from studios that have allied themselves with just one of the high-def formats. Not surprisingly, this luxury doesn’t come cheap. At $1,200, the Super Multi Blue costs more than your average Blu-ray burner—by as much as $600.

But here’s something else that makes this drive special: 4x BD-R burns. The other Blu-ray burners we’ve tested have been capped at 2x speeds when burning to single-layer high-def media. In real-world terms, 4x amounts to a significant time savings. Using LG’s drive, we burned 22.5GB of data to our disc in 27:27 (min:sec). Granted, that’s hardly speedy, but it’s half the time it’s taken us with other drives. When burning to rewriteable media (BD-RE), the Super Multi Blue took 45:11 to fill a single-layer disc, while the competition typically takes more than 90 minutes to complete this task. (The exception is the Lite-On LH-2B1S that we reviewed in July, which lacks a data-verification feature commonly employed for BD-RE situations—see chart below.)

Like most of the other Blu-ray burners we’ve tested, the Super Multi Blue is spec’d for 8x DVD burns. Consequently, it took us 10:09 to write 4.37GB of data to a DVD+R disc. That’s not as fast as Lite-On’s burner, which is spec’d at 12x, but then again, Lite-On’s drive can’t hold a candle to LG’s BD-R speeds. That fact, combined with this drive’s dual-format HD reads and its future-proof SATA interface are the reasons we picked the Super Multi Blue for this year’s Dream Machine.

  LG Lite-On
DVD Write Speed Average 6.67x 8.95x
DVD Read Speed Average 7.61x 9.36x
Access Time (Random/Full) 190ms/374ms 138ms/216ms
CPU Utilization (8x) 30% 31%
Time to burn 22.5GB to BD-R (Min:sec) 27:27 46:41
Time to burn 22.5GB to BD-RE (Min:sec) 45:11 46:36
Best scores are bolded. All tests were conducted using the latest version of Nero CD-DVD Speed and Verbatim media. Our test bed is a Windows XP SP2 machine using a dual-core 2.6GHz Athlon 64 FX-60, 2GB of Corsair DDR400 RAM on an Asus A8N-SLI motherboard, an ATI X1950 Pro videocard, a Western Digital 4000KD hard drive, and a PC Power and Cooling Turbo Cool 850 PSU.

LG GGW-H10NI Super Multi Blue

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